NASCAR BUSCH SERIES GRAND NATIONAL DIVISION NEWS No. 35 SCANA/POWERTEL CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO NOTES Mike Bliss-Driver Diehard 250 The Milwaukee Mile, Milwaukee, WI One-mile oval, 250 laps/250 miles Date: Sunday, July 4, 1999- 1 p.m....
NASCAR BUSCH SERIES GRAND NATIONAL DIVISION NEWS No. 35 SCANA/POWERTEL CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO NOTES Mike Bliss-Driver
Diehard 250 The Milwaukee Mile, Milwaukee, WI One-mile oval, 250 laps/250 miles Date: Sunday, July 4, 1999- 1 p.m. CDT Broadcast: TNN & MRN
BLISS WOULD LOVE A SWEEP AT MILWAUKEE Mike Bliss will pull double-duty for the second week in a row, by driving in both the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race on Saturday (where he won last year's event at Milwaukee) and in the Busch race on Sunday. Bliss will drive his No. 99 EXIDE Batteries Ford F-150 in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series for Roush Racing, then take the wheel of the No. 35 SCANA/Powertel Chevrolet Monte Carlo for Team Amick Motorsports in the Busch Series.
Bliss is serving as a fill-in driver for Team Amick in two races, Watkins Glen and Milwaukee. The pairing resulted in a reunion between Bliss and the man who served as his crew chief from 1995 to 1998, Barry Dodson. Dodson is now the Team Manager for Team Amick Motorsports. Team Amick has hired Elliott Sadler, driver of the No. 21 CITGO Ford Taurus in the Winston Cup Series, to take over as the team's driver for 12 races this season as of July 17 at Myrtle Beach, SC.
Bliss surprised a lot of onlookers at Watkins Glen International in last Sunday's Lysol 200, where he competed in only his third Busch Series event. Starting 25th, Bliss had worked his way up through the field and was running third behind eventual race winner Dale Earnhardt Jr., when a faulty clutch ended his day less than four laps from the finish.
The truck event at The Milwaukee Mile is the second of two races this year in which Mike Bliss is the defending champion. Bliss returned to Phoenix earlier this season after winning there last year. In this year's Phoenixevent, Bliss qualified 10th and finished 10th.
MIKE BLISS, DRIVER-
On returning to Milwaukee: "I'm excited , because I ran so well there last year. Working with Barry Dodson again has been refreshing, too. Barry gives me a lot of confidence and does a great job of building your self-esteem. Team Amick has a great group of guys, and they gave me a great car last week. I'm just happy for the chance to get more seat time and hopefully get a good finish for those guys."
On getting around the Mile: "You have to be loose enough getting in the corners that you can get in hard, but not to a point that you feel like the back end's going to break loose. You have to have your vehicle turning in the center of the corners and you need good grip off to run with the leaders."
On the differences between NASCAR Trucks and Busch Series cars: "The cars have a lot less horsepower than the trucks, so they're less responsive when you step on the gas. But the cars make it up in the straight-aways, because they're much more aerodynamic. The cars seem to stick a lot better in the corners, due to the downforce. It took me a few laps to get used to driving a car, but I caught on pretty fast."
BARRY DODSON, TEAM AMICK GENERAL MANAGER-
On the mechanical failure that sidelined the No. 35 at Watkins Glen: "We thought it was the transmission, but when we got back to the shop and took it apart, the transmission looked like it had never been shifted. We found out that the clutch was the problem. Worst of all, we found out that the manufacturer had a recall out on the part that broke. As expensive a sport as racing is, it only took about two dollars worth of parts to knock us out of the race."
On the possibility of a sweep by Mike Bliss: "I'd love to see it happen, and we'll do everything we can on our end to give Mike the tools he needs to do it. But, you have to deal with Earnhardt Jr. and those other guys. Earnhardt Jr. didn't just win the race last year, he dominated it. I will say, Mike knows how to get around that track as well as anybody, so if anyone can do it, he can. He and I won the truck race there last year after starting second. He could only improve by one position, and he definitely did that."
On the performance of Mike Bliss, in only his third Busch Series race: "It didn't surprise me that Mike ran as well as he did--but I think it rocked some other people's worlds. I knew going in to The Glen what kind of driver we had, and what kind of equipment we had. The funniest part is, we brought a brand-new car that had never been on a track, and Mike jumped in it and drove it as if he had tested it. I just hate it that Mike didn't have the chance to race Earnhardt Jr. and Fellows for the win there at the end. We were running faster than those two when the clutch gave out."